When the alarm went at 4 this morning I had already been awake for since 3:30. I sort of lay there pretending to sleep, but my body knew it was time to start going and wouldn't let me sleep in that extra 30 minutes.
I had a good breakfast (perhaps a bit too much fibre...more on that later) and headed down to Oceanside from my homestay in Fallbrook, about 15 miles inland. My homestay couple, David and Kelly have been the best. Very helpful, super friendly and just great to get along with. David lent me his zipp 404/808 wheelset for the race and they let me use their pickup to get down to the race site this morning.
Onced checked in I marveled at the pro bikes, wow just like in the magazines. P4 is so dope! The sun was still not up so i rode my warmup with pretty much everything I had. Good stretch, setup and then got the wetsuit on and in for a very short swim WU. They only gave us about 5' for this and then had us tread water for another 5' waiting for the canon.
Lined up beside big matty reed I thought i would get some good feet. The swim went off pretty quick and a front group emerged from the middle of the start line which i didn't get into. I found myself swimming in the second group but was quite comfortable and relaxed. It was nice to have little to no contact in the swim, except for the bouys that i kept hitting for some reason. Up and out of the swim in 23 high was right where i wanted to be.
On to the bike Big Matty Reed and then Jordan Rapp came trucking by just crushing it already. Remaly came by at a good clip too, who i noticed was the only other pro to ride a road bike. Next time a TT bike is in order i think. The ride went ok...i felt good for the first 35-40miles but dropped off on the remainder. My back though held up alright. It was tight but no searing pain which i was dreading would happen. THe bike course was awesome. Challenging with notable climbs, but for the most part rolling. THe scenary was beautiful as we rode along the coast for about 20 miles getting cheers from the early morning surfers as they made their way down to catch a few. We then turned inland and rode through camp pendelton, one of the biggest military bases in the US. The aid stations were manned by soldiers and they could sure cheer as well. One highlight was riding along and seeing two tanks rolling along amidst the small bunker like hills. As mentioned the last 10 miles or so I started to slow down and get uncomfortable. I thought oh no this is going to be a long run...
With the flats slipped on I headed out onto the two lap run which had an interesting 400m sand section. Rather than feeling sluggish though I felt great! Good cadence and light legs I was thinking this is too good to be true. Then fittingly a first happened in my first half. The bowels started to grumble and gurgling ensued. At mile 2 i hit the porta john....whew that feels better.
Coming back on the first lap I had caught some other guys and then round 2 happened. Round 2 came on in a rush and I had little time to get it out. I could see the aid station about 500m away but I was also looking for the bushes. I saw a bunch at one intersection and was headed to them but at the last moment saw two police officers....that would have been an interesting ticket...I made it to the outhouse with seconds to spare. This stop was longer than the first but essential. WHen i got out the guys i had passed were up the road. When i re-passed them they did a double take..."shit stop" i say ....oooh they reply with a smile. From there on I continued to reel in guys and felt very strong out there all the way to the line for a 4:13 finish.
I am very happy with this result. swim and run were just as hoped, and the bike was ok. I think with a TT bike/position and some more specific training at longer half race pace efforts I could ride 10' faster by September.
David took some great photos at the race, here they are:
Sarah Groff Leading the Womens Race in her first 70.3!
Me on the second lap of the Run
The Battling Brits
Jordan Rapp had a good one
Big Matty Reed Destroying the Run